Post # 31
I hate being in the military, and I’m in the “Chair Force.” I feel exactly like he does, and I’m not deployed. Military life is hard, but it looks pretty cozy from the outside. That said, most of my colleagues in my career field got out without degrees and are making $70-80k and a lot of them went to live in GA which has a very low cost of living so that salary is plenty. You could encourage him to join the guard or reserves so that he only has to play military once a month but still keep the benefits and possibly even go to school without touching his GI bill. He could use post-9/11 which pays for tuition and provides a monthly housing allowance for theee years if you really want him to get a degree. Everyone I know that has gotten out is busting down doors that they never would have gotten the opportunity to while active duty. It’s crazy how much they have risen up, especially since my career field is already pretty lucrative to start. Instead of trying to convince him to stay in, encourage him to make a LinkedIn account to network with other military members because there are a lot of vets in recruiting positions that actively seek other vets. Research mechanic civilian mechanic positions and what is needed to move into a management position. It’s pretty easy to use military hours to get a PMP cert to move into project management roles. I’m not army, but the Air Force offers tuition assistance for quite a few certs so the army probably does the same. If he’s into computers at all, encourage him to get a basic SEC+ cert to get a help desk job. There are plenty of Entry IT jobs that will accept certs instead of degrees and he can move up from.
Like I said, I absolutely hate being in the military because there are a lot of mental hoops that we have to go through that civilians don’t. And if he’s having a rough time with deployments he could develop PTSD and you could actually lose him for good if it progresses too far so it’s in your best interest to look for employment alternatives instead of it really developing into a serious situation. In the military there is a bunch of pressure to re-enlist and superiors use scare tactics all the time about the outside world so I’m not sure if he needs added pressure from you to stay in. He’s most likely getting it at work so he probably just needs someone to help him develop a plan to smoothly transition into civilian life.
Post # 32
And I think this conversation should wait until he gets back and is well rested. He has until 2020. It can wait.
Post # 33
Oh wow I step away for a few days and I get more advice! Awesome! Thank you, ladies! 🙂
No, of course the paycheck is not as important as his happiness! My main fear is him dropping out of whatever he tries to achieve, because he does it because he feels like society forces him to do it, rather than it being what he WANTS to do.
However, it is important to know that PPs are right. The whole “do what you love” thing is misleading and I have never in my life believed this to be a good way to go through life. I know that if my fiance “did what he loved” he would be on the couch all day watching Netflix and eating Doritos. And I think 99.999% of people in this world would join him in a heartbeat rather than make their paychecks.
We’ve had fragments of this conversation before, which is why he is so paycheck-conscious. I do have a job – I make a decent paycheck as a toxicokinetic report writer for a pharma company. It’s not $60k a year, but it’s great money for a girl who is living alone atm. Because the two of us are very future-cognizant, we are piling money in savings for babies and a house (also a new car for me because I need one). We both REALLY want these things for ourselves and each other, so money is a big part of all of this, not because it’s more important than our happiness, but because it paves the road to our future.
After reading all these replies, I do feel comforted. I think PPs are right that deployment is exacerbating his unhappiness, and that things will be better when we are back in each other’s arms. I’ll wait til he gets home to have the full conversation 🙂
Post # 34
This is an easily transferable career. You can encourage him that when he comes back then he should look for mechanic work. When he can see what others have to offer vs. the Army, it will help him decide.
Also, he can move to the Army Reserves where he is not deployed against his wishes. Similarly, he can speak with the Army career counselors to see what his options are if he’s getting sick of his current trade.
Post # 35
- Wedding: November 2019 - City, State
As another little side note, maybe suggest counseling after he returns? If he’s willing, that could really take a load off of his mind. Often times guys “hate” something but really they just don’t know how to process their emotions super well, or there may be underlying things that are bothering him and he’s just pointing the finger at something unrelated. I think a lot of 20-something guys who have a tendency to be “lazy” are sometimes just really scared of going after success, especially if there’s any kind of pressure to do well (i.e., support a wife, live up to family expectations, etc). The fear of failure is a REALLY big thing for some guys, and so they resolve subconsciously to just not try anything at all and slip through life with minimal effort. Just an alternate idea. =)
Post # 36
With 2 years left.. can the Army cover some classes so that he can finish his degree on their dime? This might require him to re-enlist, but with a complete degree, he could move on into the officer club.
Post # 37
Thanks for the input! Marriage counseling is in our definite future. Not because of our interactions with EACH OTHER or the quality of our relationship, but because of things like this. We both have wounds that we fear will negatively impact our marriage, and we will both have counseling immediately after marriage. My story is looooong. But his big demons are things like this. He DOES have a fear of failure, absoluuuuuuuuutely. I would probably go so far as to say that he hates that he dropped out of college so much, because of that, that he feels REQUIRED to redeem himself, and may not want to get a college degree at all – he just feels obligated. Very insightful 🙂 That’s just a thought I have in the back of my mind – therapy will definitely confirm all this.
Yes 🙂 He is qualified to receive full payment from the Army for further schooling…IF HE DOES WELL. If he gets less than…idk, like a C+ average or something…then we wil be stuck with the bills. It’s because of this (paired with his reputation to be lazy) that I’m a little hesitant to let him to go school. I don’t WANT to be hesitant, but I am.
Post # 38
IF he wants to go back to college, he might want to look into whether he could pick up any credits by exam (CLEP) as well as getting college credits for work/life experience.
But I’d also say there’s a bunch of vocational options available to him where his current skill-set should be transferrable.
I mean this kindly… but I would also think long and hard before marrying or having children with someone who seems to have the motivation problems you’ve described. It sounds like you think the artificial disciplined environment of the military is the only thingk keeping him from sitting on the sofa all day watching TV and eating snacks. Do you think he’ll be able to find motivation to do thinks like change diapers and mow the yard?
Post # 39
The hesitation is something to discuss in counseling… It sounded like you were interested in him going back to school when he was out of the Army, so worst case, you’re still paying out of pocket in both situations.
Motivating men is near impossible. They have to find what motivates them on their own and then act on it. Talk about the budget! Talk about upcoming expenses and where you need to cut back to make ends meet with your current income. Don’t freak out on him if you can’t afford something, but if he sees that your current income potential is not affording your desired lifestyle, maybe he’ll be interested in helping out some.
ETA, PP mentioned CLEP! I was clepping out of classes left and right while I was in high school… that saved me an entire semester of core classes 😀
Post # 40
Good advice, thanks 🙂 I’ve thought that too, but he’s not as bad at chores as you would think.
He will be genuinely forced to be the lawn mower (which he’s okay with). I have a dangerous allergy to grass pollen and I’m sick for a whole day after the lawn is mowed, even if I’m not interacting with the grass itself. Stupid airborne nonsense lol
He is also a great cook. He is eager to help me cook (his specialty is grilling).
He’s great with the cars. His car knowledge is admittedly sexy XD – he is fully supportive of being the “car point person” for our marriage.
He’s okaay with cleaning. Probably your typical guy. He leaves his shoes, keys, jackets, etc in random places, but he’s okaaaaay.
He is VERY good at taking care of his dog, which is a good sign for me as far as children go (I know I know, offended mothers, it’s not the same lol).
But because we haven’t had children together, I’m not exactly sure how he’ll be. You’re right, though – it’s not the greatest signs. We plan to focus on ourselves and our marriage, first. He definitely has a bit of maturing to do, but no, I don’t think he’s a lost cause. 🙂
Post # 41
I have never really been supportive of the college thing. I’m a firm believer in the idea that, if you don’t think you have the backbone to get through college, don’t let society bully you into getting $80k in student loans for a mediocre career you will hate forever. It’s not worth it. Take a couple years off, go to trade school or something, and avoid those loans.
I think my fiance has proven that he doesn’t have the backbone for college. It’s not like he dropped out of an astrophysics degree – it was a communications degree. I don’t want him to feel FORCED to go back to college and finish, just to “redeem himself” and “be normal” – that’s all I want to avoid.
At this moment, he makes more money than I do, and I think he’s kinda proud of it, lol XD Which is totally fine. Money is not a concern at this moment, but I don’t want to put $40k of debt into our pockets just for him to flunk out again, you know?
And yeah, this will definitely come up in therapy 🙂
Post # 42
If he’s good at maths and he’s a mechanic, he probably has a “logical” mind – so what about a career in software development? Good potential money and you can be entry-level ready with about a year of study.
Post # 43
Thanks! I’ll put that on the list of possibilities 🙂 I have a list of outcomes ranked by how profitable they would be for both our marriage and our future (I’m a very list-oritented person lol) – he has SO many options.
The other end of the spectrum I’m trying to avoid, though, is overwhelming him with his possibilities.
Post # 44
I wonder if he’s miserable being away from you, and it’s not really necessarily the job itself that he hates. I think if he was doing the exact same job, with the exact same people and circumstances, but he commuted to work from home every day, he might not hate it at all. Just my opinion, I think that it more than likely has to do with how far away he is. I hope that he finds some peace about it, because it sucks to hate your job.
Post # 45
Another vote for software engineering (or a lighter version of coding). Fiance works in tech, and one of his longtime friend and a coworker pulls in about $250k a year (total comp with base salary, bonus, and stock) and he’s 31 years old with no college degree. He joined the Marine’s after high school and after being deployed here and there (I don’t know the full details) before coming back to the civilian life. I also don’t know if it’s regional but where I live, tech jobs are so high in demand, and it’s typical for entry level jobs to offer six figure salary. If your Fiance is good with numbers I would totally consider 🙂 Good luck bee!